The convenience food market is expected to be worth more than $1.6 billion by 2024. For Simmone Logue, the opportunity to develop a line of nutritious, rustic and convenient meals was too hard to ignore.
Working with business partner and ready-meal manufacturer Beak & Johnston (B&J), Logue has created a range of classic comfort foods, soups and desserts to expand on its existing pies, quiches and sausage rolls.
“Thirty years ago I baked a cake in my little oven in my little flat in Neutral Bay, Sydney. I walked up the road and sold it at the first cafe I walked into for $20.
“There have been personal battles and sacrifices along the way, but I never let go of my entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering passion for good food. I love to cook,” says Logue.
Born and raised in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Logue says her culinary education came from her two grandmothers and a childhood spent picking fruit, collecting eggs, catching crayfish and looking for mushrooms. immersed in an environment where fresh produce abounded.
Since that first cake in his Neutral Bay apartment, Logue has made a name for himself with a luxury bakery at Balmain and built his brand to reflect his philosophy of “meal therapy at home.”
“My business has grown very organically. My food is cooked with love and integrity, and I never take shortcuts. I always say, ‘close your eyes and put the food in your mouth; it should transport you to your grandmother’s kitchen table”.
“From the beginning, I followed my instincts and gave people what they asked for. In business, if you listen to your customers and give them what they want, executed well and with passion, you will succeed. It’s really simple.
“Today my clientele is busy with the demands of work, being good parents and going to the gym. They need someone to feed them and their family. That’s where I come in,” says Log.
This is also where its partnership with ready meals giant B&J comes in. At the launch of the ready meals line, B&J founder and chairman David Beak spoke about when the company was a supplier to Logue’s bakeries and how much he envied his loyal customers and his premium brand.
“When Simmone came to us with the business proposal to buy the brand from B&J we were thrilled. It’s an incredible partnership and although Covid has been awful she has never lost her passion or her heart says Beak.
Logue echoed Beak’s sentiment, saying the manufacturer’s support in building the Simmone Logue brand has been outstanding.
“When you want to scale your business, you can’t just snap your fingers and suddenly bring up all the tools you need.
“Beak & Johnston wanted a premium brand and I wanted to develop Simmone Logue. The infrastructure, R&D, talented team and experience they have is second to none, it’s a perfect relationship.
“The kitchen may be a high-volume kitchen with fast-moving commercial production, but it’s still my kitchen, creating beautiful dishes that people can trust,” says Logue.
“I love that quality can meet convenience. Everyone deserves healthy food. Essentially, what I’m selling is time…time and joy.